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Tuesday, 11 December 2012
This week 150 years ago (part 3): In Their Words…

“The hideous cries of the wounded, weird, unearthly, terrible to hear and bear, echoed through the night.” – Confederate soldier stationed at the stone wall

“It is well that war is so terrible - otherwise we would grow too fond of it.” – Gen. Robert E. Lee

“The victory won by us here is one of the neatest and cheapest of the war. Englishmen who surveyed Solferino & all the battlefields of Italy say that the pile of dead on the plains of Fredericksburg exceeds anything of the sort ever seen by then…Fredericksburg is in ruins. It is the saddest sight I ever saw.” – Gen. J.E.B. Stuart

“It was not a battle, it was a butchery.” – Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin

“Ghastly were the numbers of amputated limbs found in great numbers in several places of the town… A number of houses were burned down, many more made untenable by shot & shell, hardly one having escaped entirely. The few stores that did business were despoiled of their contents… But for all this loss [we] considered ourselves amply repaid, when [we] viewed the thousands of the enemy’s corpses upon the battle field.” – Fredericksburg shopkeeper

“To the Army of the Potomac; I have just read your Commanding General’s preliminary report of the battle of Fredericksburg. Although you were not successful, the attempt was not an error, nor the failure other than an accident. …Condoling with the mourners for the dead and sympathizing with the severely wounded, I congratulate you that the number of both is comparatively so small. I tender to you, officers and soldiers, the thanks of the nation.” – President Abraham Lincoln

BONUS: Here is our friend John Hennessy, Chief Historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Battlefield Park, presenting a talk on the multiple memories of that battle, both then and now.

Posted by ny5/pinstripepress at 11:30 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2012 12:04 PM EST
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